Night games in Blacksburg, Virginia! Regardless of how this game plays out, it is the best atmosphere in all of sports. I get goose bumps remembering the nights I’ve spent at Lane Stadium. On to the halftime report!
With a calm mist descending on Worsham Field, the Virginia Tech Hokies started the night by deferring to the second half and kicking off to the Notre Dame Fighting Irish. Jack Coan emerged as the starting quarterback for the Irish, and was shut down by a stifling VT defense, netting the ND offense negative four yards. Draped in nothing but maroon, Burmesiter and the VT offense took the field at their own 40-yard line. The Hokies were also driven backwards, earning negative one yard, as they went three and out on their first possession.
Throughout the first quarter Notre Dame flirted once with the 50-yard line but were never in a scoring position. The pedigree of VT’s defense was on display, holding the Irish to only 27 yards in the first quarter. The home crowd was making themselves felt, assisting in causing a false start on a Notre Dame fourth down attempt that stopped their second drive of the game. Connor Blumrick was in and out of the game to mix the Virginia Tech offense up, and the Hokies put together a nice drive that resulted in Blackshear touchdown to put the Hokies up 7-0 with just over three minutes left in the first quarter.
The Hokies opened the second quarter driving into Notre Dame territory. Kept alive by a key Burmesiter run, Virginia Tech stalled in the red zone, but finished the drive with a field goal to go up 10-0 with 10:36 left in the half. Notre Dame switched it up at QB, putting Tyler Buchner in who hit a 46-yard pass down to the Hokies’ four-yard line on his fifth play in the game. That single play quadrupled Notre Dame’s passing yards. Buchner ran it in for a TD two plays later. The Hokie defensive struggles with dual threat quarterbacks continues.
With the score now 10-7, Burmeister and the Hokies returned on offense but were ineffective and had to punt after a nine-yard loss on a third down sack. Buchner went back to work, and the Irish offense continued to come to life with him under center. This time Buchner scored with his arm, throwing a strike to Kyren Williams to put the Irish up 14-10. With 0:32 left on the clock the Hokies took a shot on offense and came up with a field goal to close the drive. At the half, Notre Dame leads Virginia Tech, 14-13. The Hokies will receive to start the second half.